Israeli volunteers have joined the rescue efforts in Japan and Ecuador following devastating earthquakes that have resulted in hundreds of deaths and widespread damage throughout both countries.
The Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID says that its delegation in southern Japan is helping to distribute much-needed supplies in the affected communities.
Around 180,000 people are in temporary shelters after two powerful earthquakes rocked Japan on Thursday and Friday, causing huge damage to roads, bridges, and tunnels. The tremors also caused dangerous landslides. Japanese media reports say more than 62,000 homes remain without electricity and 300,000 homes have no water.
IsraAID’s Japan team is the only foreign organization still on the ground after arriving in March 2011 to provide assistance in the wake of that year’s devastating tsunami. That meant that its volunteers and workers were ready and able to arrive on Sunday in the worst-affected areas to offer emergency assistance.
“The devastation is beyond words and tens of thousands of people are taking shelter in the more than 600 evacuation centers,” says Yotam Polizer, IsraAID’s Asia Director.
IsraAID is also providing psychological first aid to the victims who are suffering from stress and anxiety. The humanitarian workers have also opened child-care spaces in the affected area.
Meanwhile, IsraAID says that it is “aiming to send a team to assist with emergency efforts in Ecuador.” According to reports, the Israeli team will offer medical treatment, psycho-social outreach and child resources in Ecuadorian affected regions.
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